The Corner

Re: Foreign Aid

I must say I agree entirely with Ramesh. I think there are a couple points worth adding.

First, there’s this passage:

“This begs the question: Why should U.S. citizens have to pay one additional penny for this rebuilding when Americans have already paid tens of billions of dollars for the liberation of Iraq with a huge military operation and more preciously, thousands of our own soldiers’ blood?”

This will join nicely with the long line of examples of libertarians having a grave problem with foreign policy. There’s a strain of utopianism which runs through libertarian notions of foreign policy which is no less severe than the strain the one which afflicts the left. The left believes that international norms of the rule of law — as dictated by Olympian judges in Brussels — should dictate the conduct of nations. Libertarians seem to believe that the rule of the market should as well. Both of these things would be great, or at least better than the reality (especially if the rule of law weren’t so much Euro-liberalism) but the reality is what it is. Of course the United States shouldn’t have to pay another penny for Iraq. Of course American soldiers shouldn’t shed their blood. But that’s the situation we are in. It would be great, even right, if the world sent us billions of dollars to compensate us for the hard but necessary work we’ve done in Iraq. But that’s not the way the world is right now. Sorry. And to suggest that shouldering the costs of Iraq aren’t worth the price is, in my opinion, dead wrong.

Which brings me to my second point. I do hope that all of the folks who email me claiming that NRO has a single editorial position on every issue from gay marriage to foreign policy will at least take note that we do have disagreements around here. That’s one of the secrets of our success.


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